T&T's chances of a place at the 2023 Men's Hockey World Cup were dashed when they went down to Mexico 4-2 at the Pan American Cup Challenge in Santiago, Chile on Saturday.
The men need to be among the top two teams from Pool B to advance to the World Cup. However, they let it slip with a result that now moves them from the third position, where they were before the encounter, to the bottom of the standings, with one more game to play on Monday.
Captain Akim Toussaint's men were hoping to rebound from a 3-4 opening loss to the United States, but they resisted the Mexicans for only five minutes before Jorge Gomez broke the hold expectedly from a field goal.
It was the first of a hat-trick of goals from the prolific Mexican who later made sure of the win.
That goal however did little to drop the heads of the T&T men who continued to press for the equalizer until they were rewarded by a goal-hungry Teague Marcano. With 16 minutes gone, Marcano fired in from a penalty corner, knowing that his team needed to start all over again from scratch.
With the score levelled at one apiece at the halfway stage, the Mexicans forged ahead. Gomez with another field goal in the 37th minute, pulled the game comfortably in their favour 2-1 in the third session. And he pulled it to safety with his hat-trick in the 56th minute, again from a field goal.
Two minutes later Guillermo Gonzalez sealed the win when he converted a field goal, to confirm their power in the field of play, as well as their climb up the standings to third, replacing T&T.
Trailing 1-3, the T&T men kept did not give up, and they were rewarded with a 57th-minute item from Joel Daniel in the 60th minute.
The T&T men will complete the group phase with a matchup against Canada tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, the T&T women will spring into action again, taking on the Canadians also from 2pm.
Like the men, they too need to be among the top two teams to progress to the World Cup.